Morgan Sindall breaks ground on energy efficient school block

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orbis framework, Ash Manor School

Morgan Sindall Construction has begun work on a new £4m performing arts block and extension for Ash Manor School on Manor Road in Ash, Surrey

The main contractor was appointed through the Orbis Framework by Surrey County Council to deliver the project.

Plans by the architect, Re-Format outline a two-storey, steel-framed, 10,763 square foot building which will primarily be used to house a new theatre.

Alongside the new performance space, Morgan Sindall Construction will deliver a control room, stage seating and lighting areas.

An environmentally friendly school

Solar panels will be installed onto the building to provide a more sustainable source of energy and reduce operational carbon emissions.

A tree protection zone has also been established, as Morgan Sindall Construction will ensure that a number of trees in the school’s grounds are retained for wildlife protection purposes.

Local housing

Another driver for the scheme comes from the local authority’s anticipation of a population surge generated by nearby housing developments.

Refurbishment works are therefore scheduled to be carried out alongside the build on the school’s main building, to transform the current performing arts area into additional classrooms for increased capacity.

Once complete, the project will provide 30 additional school places for secondary school-aged pupils.

Outside, there will be a permeable paving area for pedestrians, whilst seven additional spaces will be added to the school’s car park.

Supporting a sustainable community

Clifford Kinch, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are really pleased to have begun work on the new performing arts block for Surrey County Council.

“The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seen the UK’s arts industry take a huge hit and it has been a particular blow for young people given the valuable skills and education the performing arts can provide.

“This new theatre will be an important asset for both the students and the general public. It is a great example of a local authority striving to support a sustainable community with flexible buildings with shared use cases.”

The project was procured through the Orbis Partnership framework, a shared services partnership which is managed by the local authority alongside Brighton and Hove City Council and East Sussex County Council.

Enabling works began during the summer, with the full programme now underway.

Work is scheduled to complete on the project in time for the beginning of the 2021 academic year.

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